While the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman reported Monday the combined Jon Sterling and Suzyn Waldman Reign of Error has been extended for at least another 5 years, the curious arm of the Cleveland Indians had a curious hiring of their own to unveil today. From the AP’s Tom Withers (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :

SportsTime Ohio, a 24-hour TV network owned by the club, announced Tuesday that it has hired longtime local radio personality and former Tribe TV announcer Bruce Drennan to host a weekday talk show entitled œAll Bets Are Off with Bruce Drennan.

Drennan was released from a federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va., on March 2 after serving a five-month sentence for tax fraud.

In July 2006, Drennan was sentenced after pleading guilty for failing to pay between $12,500 and $30,000 in taxes on gambling winnings. From 2000-04, Drennan placed bets on baseball games with five or six bookmakers daily with some bets up to $5,400, according to the plea agreement he signed.

SportsTime Ohio’s show is to make its debut April 1. Drennan will serve an additional five months of house confinement with work privileges.

Drennan’s affiliation with the Indians could be viewed in conflict with baseball’s strict rules about gambling.

Bob DiBiasio, the Indians’ vice president of public relations, said Drennan will not have access to the team’s clubhouse. However, Drennan will be allowed in the press box and on the field at Jacobs Field.

Drennan, whose booming voice and strong-minded opinions on virtually any subject made him a media icon in Cleveland, said he isn’t worried about his recent past damaging his credibility or his relationship with fans.

œNot at all, he said in a phone interview. œEither you love me or you don’t. I know my stuff. I’ve spent the past five months cramming and researching sports. The fans will be with me and that will be evident as soon as I go on the air.

Drennan said it was because of his success with betting that led to his arrest.

œUnlike 95 percent of the guys who bet and lose, I won, he said, œand that’s what attracted the feds.